Petanque tournament rages on at Ridgefield, Boys and Girls Club interrupts Ridgefield Library winning streak, RVNAhealth brings spirit and mascot dog
The battle for the esteemed Branchville Champion Bocce Team title raged yesterday, Saturday October 2nd at the Branchville bocce grounds located at 59 Willridge Road in Ridgefield. At the helm of the seventh annual Branchville Lawn Bocce Charity Tournament was Mitch Ancona, owner of Ancona’s Wines and Liquors. “We are here to have fun and to support the organizations we love,” said Ancona.
Representatives from six local charities including Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department, Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield, Ridgefield Library, Wilton Library and RVNAhealth (“The Vaccinators”) gathered at Mitch Ancona’s Bocce Arena around 9:00 a.m. for pregaming – hatchback style. In addition to many layouts including bubbles, kegs, grills, the black lab mascot “Judge” and an array of dishes, attendees proudly represented their charities through personalized t-shirts, capes, chic red velvet jackets and decorations.
New to this annual tournament, but not to the game of bocce, were members of Ridgefield 8 who performed on behalf of the Ridgefield Boys & Girls Club. They have proven this year that winning the Guinness World Records title for longest marathon bocce team has its perks – the boys knocked out Ridgefield Library, breaking their two-year winning streak.
“The motto of this tournament is just to have fun … and donate money to great organizations that help make our communities even more wonderful,” said Ancona.
Each team entered into a friendly competition for over $ 3,000 in prize money.
After about 6 hours of play, the final round (once again) found the Ridgefield Library (still dressed in red velvet jackets) battling the Ridgefield 8, aka, Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield. After a biting hour, the real upheaval came when Ridgefield’s library winning streak was over – they fell to the Ridgefield Boys & Girls Club.
The Boys and Girls Club team brought their “A” game and walked away with the top prize, $ 1,500, bragging rights and a beautiful trophy.
The Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department finished in 2nd place with $ 750. In 3rd place (and breaking a two-year winning streak) was Ridgefield Library, taking home $ 500 in cash prizes. The Wilton Library team took 4th place and won $ 250 for their non-profit organization.
A coveted award is for “Spirit” and the RVNAhealth team has kept that energy going for three consecutive years for their acclaim and tailgate provisions, sportsmanship and, of course, Judge, the handsome black lab who calls Gigi Weiss her human. .
The tournament is sponsored by the Branchville Civic Association (BCA). The charity is made up of three generations of local Branchville families and is best known as the owner and custodian of the Branchville Civic baseball field, which was built by the founding members in 1946.
Pétanque is played by throwing a small ball, called a pallino, on the ground. Players then throw bigger balls towards the pallino to see who can get closer to it. It can be played as a team, like in the tournament, or one-on-one. The game requires strategy and precision, but can be enjoyed by players of all ages and athletic abilities.
Ancona explains: “The pétanque tournament is the culmination of Ancona’s traditional business goal,” Ancona said. “Focus on family, community and charity – with a good dose of fun.”